they say you can't go back to a place and it will be the same, that is especailly true of a river. This past weekend kind of blew that theory out the window, kind of. The family and I spent the long weekend at Charlie Brown Campground right at the head water of the Natchaug river with group of our friends. This was a coming home of sorts for me, as a teenager and young adult I spent a great deal of time here and learned most of the foundations of fly fishing on the Natchaug and her two feeders, the Still river and Bigelow brook. My mom was a teacher and we had a seasonal camp site at the here,so as soon as school was out we would pack up a head there for the summer. We started camping there the spring of 1977 at this point I had been fly fishing for about 3 years, mostly on small streams for small fish. But the campground opened up a whole new world for me. I spent from that first summer until I went off to college in 1981 fishing almost every day from mid June to late August. I learned a lot mostly by doing it wrong the first time but those mistakes have made me a much better fly fishermen over the years since. The 80's I saw much less time there but I would still sneek away when I could for hour or so here or there. Most of my fly fishing by then was to far off places for adventures. The whole time my dad kept the seasonal site even after my mom passed away in 86. In the late 80's my younger sister and her husband had a site there as well so most weekends I would wind up there. By this time I was more than happy to just get a chance to fish some quite water. In the late 90's my dad stopped coming north for the whole summer and stopped camping. I had not fished there since.
So this past Saturday morning I took my sisters son who is 19 and just getting into fly fishing to fish the stretch of the Still River that lies just above the campgound. we had a great time and he got his second trout a beautiful brook trout on only his second trip. I managed a bunch of brookies on wet flies, but the wild rainbow I got was the crown jewel of the day. Sunday I woke up early and fished the better pools in the campground. I only managed one take but it was a brute that took a bugger from an undercut bank. I never did see the fish as it broke my 5x tippet when it ran around the opposite side of a rock. Monday I headed of with one of my good buds to a special section of the river that holds some real monsters. The spot did not disapoint us, we saw a couple of very large trout taking caddis emergers from the surface. I managed a couple of rainbows both about 13" Carl got a nice fat 16" bow skating a Elk hair caddis. Then my cell phone rang it was my wifes ring so I picked it up knowing she would only call if it was a real need. She said come back now there is a bad thunderstorm headed our way. we quickly packed it in and headed back. We managed to get everything packed before the rains and lightning started. It was a wonderful weekend only made better by the memories it brought back and the new ones it gave me.
" throw a mend damn it "